Rough Trade, established in 1976 in London, UK – is opening a warehouse and store in Berlin. This follows a period of growth for Rough Trade – who have tripled its UK vinyl market share in the past 5 years.
Based in Kreuzberg, Rough Trade’s Berlin office and warehouse will serve as the central hub for its European expansion. The EU business will be owned and controlled by Rough Trade Retail Holdings Ltd and German investors Christof Ellinghaus and Kurt Thielen, with additional support and expertise provided by Rough Trade UK.
The retailer appointed Curt Keplin in mid-May to run its EU operations as Managing Director Europe. Keplin joins Rough Trade after leading and overseeing the growth of the full-service B2B music distributor FUGA in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria (GSA). His experience includes past roles with, amongst others, Kobalt, City Slang, and Cooperative Music.
Joining him as of 1st September are Connor Boshuijer as Head of Buying EU, Nina Scherer as Digital Marketing Manager EU, and Daniel Ellis as Warehouse & Fulfilment Manager EU.
Rough Trade will celebrate its expansion to the European market by hosting a reception on 22nd September at this year’s Reeperbahn Festival.
Rough Trade Europe aims to start trading in mid-October via an EU-optimized shopping experience at roughtrade.com, which will include localized content and repertoire, enhanced payment options, and order fulfilment across Europe out of Berlin.
Next year, Rough Trade will also open a new flagship store in Berlin. Scheduled to open in Q2 2024 – the 270 square meters store will be located in an entirely revamped building called Kalle Neukölln, transforming a former department store and multi-storey car park into a modern creative space.
Besides Rough Trade, Kalle Neukölln will feature a new 600-cap venue, a food market, and an extensive rooftop garden. The ticketing for the Berlin store will be handled via Rough Trade’s partnership with DICE.
Curt Keplin, Managing Director of Rough Trade EU, said: “As a kid, I always dreamt of having a record store, now getting the chance of running one for such an iconic brand like Rough Trade with great history feels surreal. At the same time, vinyl is back in full swing, so for Rough Trade, expanding to Europe is the right step at the right time.”
Lawrence Montgomery, Managing Director of Rough Trade UK said: “This growth is a great reflection of the work put in by our teams over the recent years. We are incredibly proud to be opening a store in Berlin, which has a rich cultural and music history that we’re excited to become a part of. The expansion of our e-commerce operation will bring great scale for our label partners as we will be able to sell and promote their artists and releases across 3 major territories (UK, US, EU).”
On behalf of Rough Trade Retail Holdings Limited, Martin Mills said: “It’s wonderful to see Rough Trade flourishing and cementing its status as a leader in record retailing. The company’s expansion into Europe signifies the natural progression towards establishing a global retail network and positioning itself as a positive force in physical record sales for years to come.”